DailyPost 1723

If everything remains the same, its only software development and its mass usage differentiates the country from being a first world or a third world. No first world country is bad in usage of cutting-edge software, even if not creating it. Estonia became the most innovative country in the world in about two decades, following the software development   route. Today, Estonia boasts of 3000 government services and literally a government on the fly. The world is in awe of it. Business, election and  in whatever they wanted, they have taken a quantum leap, now cyber security also comes naturally to them. And so does Blockchain technology, which transforms internet of information to information of value.

While we have been creating institutions of technical excellence and in variety of other areas, we have missed out in having a cutting-edge Software Development Authority of India. Had it been created around the turn of the century,  same time as the enactment of the Information Technology Act, the fate of the country would have different today. Two scenarios can make things very clear; firstly, the way data is captured at our cremation / burial grounds and a mismatch of gigantic proportions between two or three data bases,  which should have been functioning seamlessly for decades.  That we cannot even keep the record of our dead speaks very low of the software / digital systems,  we have not been able to put place.

The second and most intriguing part of Indian governance is that we don’t have a single ERP solution binding the country together. Neither did we create one, nor did we pick up something from the outside world and implement it uniformly across the country and organizations. Does the government have the capability to work from home?  The essential services need to happen in the field is  known but that too has to be integrated in the Digital Mesh. This is not decrying progress in areas like railway reservation, and that too homemade. Otherwise, wherever / whatever software / system we put in place has been plagued with glitches of numerous kinds. Right now, we are amongst at least one of them. Whatever we missed or have done very inefficiently, a good share can be attributed to the quality software developed and lack of its robust roll out.

Who is responsible for at least the main software  of this country and there is no answer. There is a dire need for the creation of a  Software Development Authority of India, a cutting edge technology organization with the wherewithal to take care of the software needs of the nation and also plan for at least a quarter of a century. It should both be a software development power house of the government and also a regulator of all software in the country and also Apps. The hardware requirement has to be planned as directed by this authority and also the connectivity and bandwidth requirements of the nation. In COVID-19 large tracts of this country are in  Digital Darkness.  The nature of the Cloud as per their requirements could be dictated. A multimedia online CBSE curriculum and a fail safe proctoring tool,  could have done yeomen service to the nation in these troubled times.


Sanjay Sahay

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